Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
The Indoor Gardener

The Indoor Gardener

Copyright Date: 1939
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 128
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    The Indoor Gardener
    Book Description:

    This copy appeared in our 1939 Trade Catalog: The author of The Northern Garden Week by Week has now written a practical handbook for use in house, apartment, school, or office. This newspaper columnist and experimenting housewife gives specific directions, based on nineteen years’ experience, for the successful amateur growing and care of plants indoors. Her book covers potting and re-potting, propagating, watering, and feeding the house plants; the plant room, house plant troubles, bulbs (to flower in the windows), and the Wardian case. Sections on all the familiar varieties of plants, with special emphasis on hardy and inexpensive ones. Will appeal to the outdoor gardener as well as to the housewife, teacher, office worker, and interior decorator. Illustrated with line drawings.

    eISBN: 978-1-4529-3624-6
    Subjects: Botany & Plant Sciences

Table of Contents

Export Selected Citations Export to NoodleTools Export to RefWorks Export to EasyBib Export a RIS file (For EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, Zotero, Mendeley...) Export a Text file (For BibTex)
  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)

      (pp. 3-4)

      House gardening is a hobby fast growing in popularity. A few healthy plants make any room look like a real home. Especially during the long winters we all feel the need for something to relieve the snowy outlook from the windows. A row of handsome plants seems to bring comfort, with a promise of spring and green trees again. We place vines on the mantel shelf, ferns in the brackets, handsome pots of blooming plants in the hall. And then, for most of us, they begin to drop their leaves, turn brown, lose their flowers. We are in despair.


      (pp. 5-10)

      “But,” says the busy woman who works in an office or teaches school or follows some other profession, “what about me? I want windows full of flowering plants, to make my apartment look alive and homelike. Yet I haven’t the proper place for them or the time to spend on them.”

      What about the schoolteacher, who knows that there is no better way for children to learn to love growing things than to watch and care for plants? What about the office who knows that touches of green in the windows between the typewriters and the adding machines will have...

      (pp. 11-15)

      Small plants are a boon to plant-lovers whose space is limited and who cannot devote much time to watching and caring for them. If you have a pleasant window in your house or apartment which is fairly low and wide, try growing small plants in a Wardian case.

      The Wardian case is just another name for a glass-sided, zinc-bottomed box, about a foot long. There are beautiful Wardian cases on the market made of chromium, steel, and glass. They cost about three dollars and make a pretty ornament for the north window.

      The handy man can make you one of...

      (pp. 16-19)

      Never water a plant unless it needs moisture. Yes, that is a fine statement, isn’t it? But how can you tell when a plant is thirsty? It can’t shout for water, like Junior after he goes to bed!

      Tap the outside of the clay container with a pencil, or rap it with your knuckles. If the pot gives a dull ring do not water. If there is a sharp, clear ring, the plant is dry. Fill up the inch at the top of the pot several times with tepid water until no bubbles arise. Or set the lower part of...

      (pp. 20-24)

      It is the day after Christmas, and you are proudly inspecting your pet gifts—a flowering begonia; a rich, bushy cyclamen with its violet-rose blossoms; an African violet, and a glossy-leaved azalea. You are a busy woman. You have never bothered with house plants before. Now you have the beginnings of an indoor garden, but how to care for it? You know that plants are supposed to be watered, but you have heard, too, that they need food as well as water. You want to keep these beautiful pets for years, if possible. What can you do to make them...

      (pp. 25-32)

      Your indoor garden has been looking perfectly lovely, and then, suddenly, the leaves don’t seem right. There are bunches of white cotton batting on the coleus, on the impatiens, in crooks of the ivy leaves. There are brown spots on the Boston fern, on the oleander, even on the poinsettia. The fronds of the asparagus fern are falling, turning yellow; even a spider web is forming. Little black flies hover over the pots in the corner, white flies cluster on the abutilon, and there are green flies sitting in heaps on the stalks of the calla lily, on the early...

      (pp. 33-38)

      As a general rule the best time to repot house plants is in the spring, as soon as you have finished the spring cleaning. During that time give your plants a break. They have been in a warm room with no direct sunshine all the winter, and it is a murderous policy to set them all outside, perhaps in the full sunlight. You know how hard the strong spring sun is on hangings and cushions; it often fades them in an hour. How far more disastrous it can be on the delicate leaves, which have never been outside before!


      (pp. 39-44)

      It is surprising how many of our common house plants can be grown from leaves or slips. Every woman loves to start something from the old home, or her friend’s window, while a visit to a greenhouse usually means the presentation of a few choice cuttings from the kindly custodian. This kind of propagation is simple and practical for the schoolroom, too. It requires no purchasing of seeds or elaborate equipment, yet the children can watch the formation of roots and leaves throughout the spring term.

      You are far more likely to have good luck if you start your cuttings...


    • BULBS
      (pp. 47-54)

      Bulbous plants, with their delicately-colored, fresh-scented blooms, are especially suitable for city homes and apartments. Spring comes late and often unnoticed to the city; we welcome all prophecies and reminders of the new life it brings.

      The forcing of the early spring bulbs is quite an easy pastime, and it means a show of flowers during the winter days when everything looks so bleak. In moderate climates the three months of darkness necessary to make good root growth can be accomplished by burying the pots in the garden. In September dig a trench about three feet deep, and put in...

      (pp. 55-72)

      One of the most pleasing trends in modern interior decoration is the way plant materials are being used more and more as a part of the design of a room, or even a whole house. A low table in a certain spot must be emphasized by a stiff, tall plant, like a sansevieria or a cactus, which will also point its ringer toward a colorful painting on the wall. Long expanses of windows are often provided with broad, low shelves under them, where plants must be set in tasteful designs and compositions to relieve the severity of the window frame....

      (pp. 73-87)

      Each time a plant blooms in your window garden, new life and color are added to the room. And to your own spirit, too, in the dark winter days when the outdoors is all in gray.

      There are many flowering plants which you can choose. The old stand-bys are begonias and geraniums, of course. You need not be limited to these, beautiful as they are. But let us discuss them first.

      The first and most important requisite for healthy begonias is perfect drainage. Fill the pot about one-third full of broken crocks, coal ash, or charcoal; next put in a...

      (pp. 88-105)

      Many of us never think of starting an indoor garden until we are given plants at Christmas or Easter. We admire the beautiful displays in florists’ windows, but not until the plants really arrive at our own door, so carefully wrapped and protected against weather and rough handling, in full flower, their leaves healthy and glossy, does the fever attack us. They do so much to dress up a room that we resolve to keep them and care for them as long as we can. But each plant has different needs, just like individual human beings. What are they, and...

    (pp. 106-107)
    (pp. 108-110)
    (pp. 110-110)
  8. Index
    (pp. 111-117)
  9. Back Matter
    (pp. 118-120)